The 50th Anniversary of the Business Professionals of America National Leadership Conference took place in Boston, Massachusetts May 5-9.  For the past 50 years, Business Professionals of America has been committed to providing students across America with the skills and problem solving abilities necessary for successful careers in business. BPA gives students an opportunity to showcase their career skills in over 70 competitive events at the regional, state, and national level.

                    Boston is known as “America’s Walking City.” The seven students and their chaperones enjoyed the sights, sounds, and tastes of this historic city.  Some of the highlights included:  a Duck Boat Tour (DUKW boats were used during WWII), the Freedom Trail, the Boston Aquarium, Harvard, MIT, Fenway Park, the USS Constitution, the Boston Tea Party, Bunker Hill, and much more.

                    On Saturday night, May 7th, the students and chaperones were treated to a BPA Golden Celebration at Fenway Park. They had games, a DJ, a private concert with the “X Ambassadors,” and fireworks.  Ethan Bixler-Smith ‘16, Chloe Page ’18, and Sam McArthur ’16, enjoyed the concert from the front row.  In addition, McArthur won a drawing and was able to personally meet the band after the concert. BPA also found their way into the Guinness Book of World Records by having the largest gathering of people wearing tie-dye in one place.

                    Hillsdale took two middle school BPA members and five high school BPA members.  Ethan Bixler-Smith ’16, is a Michigan State Officer and his role at NLC was to attend and help preside over all Michigan meetings and to attend and vote at the national caucuses.  Sam McArthur ’16 competed in Management, Marketing, and Human Resources where he placed 22nd out of 569 competitors.  Chloe Page ’18 competed in Basic Office Systems and Procedures where she had to type a variety of office documents and take an objective test.  Chloe placed 19th out of 56 and the good news is she is only a sophomore so she can try again next year! Anders Moore ’18 participated in the leadership academy.  He spent ten hours in leadership classes and volunteered for two hours.  Alexis Higgins ’17 placed 5th in Multimedia and Promotion – Individual.  Alexis created a Biz Tips web site and then she created a cartoon to advertise her web site.  She also participated in the National Showcase where thousands of people could stop by her table to see her work. Her showcase booth included business cards, information wrapped up in cute origami packages, balloons, candy, and more.  Alexis was honored on stage with the top ten students in the country.  We are so proud of her 5th place finish. 

    Grace Vondra ‘21 and Brylee Boyd ‘21 participated in middle level leadership sessions.  They learned that you can’t lead others until you lead yourself and that leaders pay attention and respond appropriately.  Boyd and Vondra also earned the BPA Life Skills Achievement Badge at Next Step Academy. Boyd and Vondra found themselves on stage twice during the Grand Awards Celebration.  They placed 5th as a team in the Middle Level Introduction to Video competition.  The girls created a video about seatbelt safety and had to make a presentation in front of the judges.  They were judged both on their presentation and their technical portion of their video.  In their individual event, Middle Level Graphic Design, Vondra placed 2nd and Boyd placed 5thout of 18 competitors.

    There are over 37,000 students from twenty different states who participate in the workplace skills assessment program through Business Professionals of America. Overall the Hornets competed strong in Boston. High School students Higgins placed 5th, Page placed 19th, and McArthur placed 22nd, and middle school students Vondra placed 2nd & 5th and Boyd placed 5th and 5th in the nation.